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Re: [DSR-2-DOT] W Chicago and St. Mary's (Stoepel Park 2) Markings

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  • H.B.Craig-II
    Hello umich918 I did get a chance to view the photo you referred to but like most of the responses on that thread I too don t have a definite answer as to
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 1, 2012
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      Hello "umich918"
      I did get a chance to view the photo you referred to but like most of the responses on that thread I too don't have a definite answer as to the history behind those markings.  In regards to your bus terminal/parking question, there was never a bus terminal near or at that location.  The W. Chicago line was initially assigned to the old American Garage (Gd River & American) but was later transferred to the Coolidge Garage (Schaefer & Schoolcraft) when it opened in 1928, and remained there until 1974.  So a bus terminal there wasn't really needed.
       
      According to DSR historian/author Jack Schramm's research, the W. Chicago line was extended from Coolidge (Schaefer) to St. Marys from Jan. 1928 to Oct 1936 when it was extended to Abington.  What was at this location at that time I wish I had an answer, but since my street maps up to 1929 only shows an empty area where the current Stopel Park #2 resides with no identifying listing makes it difficult.  However, my 1937 map does list the area as Stopel Park #2.  Now why the DSR chose St. Marys (and later Abington) as a turn-around as opposed to Greenfield or Southfield Road I could only guess.  But I do know that the DSR often turned their buses around by U-turning in the middle of the road in more light populated areas where auto traffic was light, or by backing into an available alley or vacant lot.  Of course by the 1940s this practice was abandoned as auto traffic and rural area population increased.
       
      So whatever was the attraction at Mansfield or St. Marys may remain a mystery, but whatever the terrain was at the time provided a small area for DSR buses to turn around.  With the Chicago line (later the combined Broadstreet-Chicago line) being a light service route the service wouldn't require a large special designated parking area for an occasional bus when a simple U-turn could serve the purpose.   I hope this helps some.
       
       
      From: umich918 <umich918@...>
      To: DSR-2-DOT@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, September 28, 2012 11:27 PM
      Subject: [DSR-2-DOT] W Chicago and St. Mary's (Stoepel Park 2) Markings
       
      Hello,

      I have a puzzle that possibly a reader might be able to help solve. Here it is: in the DetroitYes forums, under the thread "Stoepel Park No. 2" there is a 1949 Detroit Edison aerial photo shown of the east side of Stoepel Park (W. Chicago and St. Marys) which shows very strange markings. Subscribers suggest that they could be traces of WWII tank training areas, or piping being installed for future home development. However, in the website for Detroit Transit History, I saw the following about the West Chicago bus line:
      "Although the Broadstreet-West Chicago service only operated along West Chicago to Coolidge (Schaefer), rush-hour trips were made to St. Marys. Service along W. Chicago was later extended to Abington, then to Penrod, and by May 1940, service had been extended via Evergreen to Joy Road." I am wondering of there was once a bus terminal with possibly bus parking and refueling service there at W Chicago and St. Mary's. The markings would be then 9 years old, but they are very vivid. And, in the 1960 aerial photos of the same park, faint traces of the markings can still be seen, so...maybe it was once a bus terminal where Stoepel later was established?

       
    • Robert Burnham
      Thanks for that excellent information, although I thought I might be onto something with the bus terminal theory.  In your information, is there any
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 8, 2012
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        Thanks for that excellent information, although I thought I might be onto something with the bus terminal theory.  In your information, is there any reference to Stoepel
        Park having a war time use?  It is very interesting that as early as 1937 Stoepel Park was called out in street maps.  I will post your comments in the Detroit Yes forum as others might have information triggered by your comments.  Thanks again!!

        --- On Mon, 10/1/12, H.B.Craig-II <hbcraig2@...> wrote:

        From: H.B.Craig-II <hbcraig2@...>
        Subject: Re: [DSR-2-DOT] W Chicago and St. Mary's (Stoepel Park 2) Markings
        To: "DSR-2-DOT@yahoogroups.com" <DSR-2-DOT@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Monday, October 1, 2012, 12:13 PM

         
        Hello "umich918"
        I did get a chance to view the photo you referred to but like most of the responses on that thread I too don't have a definite answer as to the history behind those markings.  In regards to your bus terminal/parking question, there was never a bus terminal near or at that location.  The W. Chicago line was initially assigned to the old American Garage (Gd River & American) but was later transferred to the Coolidge Garage (Schaefer & Schoolcraft) when it opened in 1928, and remained there until 1974.  So a bus terminal there wasn't really needed.
         
        According to DSR historian/author Jack Schramm's research, the W. Chicago line was extended from Coolidge (Schaefer) to St. Marys from Jan. 1928 to Oct 1936 when it was extended to Abington.  What was at this location at that time I wish I had an answer, but since my street maps up to 1929 only shows an empty area where the current Stopel Park #2 resides with no identifying listing makes it difficult.  However, my 1937 map does list the area as Stopel Park #2.  Now why the DSR chose St. Marys (and later Abington) as a turn-around as opposed to Greenfield or Southfield Road I could only guess.  But I do know that the DSR often turned their buses around by U-turning in the middle of the road in more light populated areas where auto traffic was light, or by backing into an available alley or vacant lot.  Of course by the 1940s this practice was abandoned as auto traffic and rural area population increased.
         
        So whatever was the attraction at Mansfield or St. Marys may remain a mystery, but whatever the terrain was at the time provided a small area for DSR buses to turn around.  With the Chicago line (later the combined Broadstreet-Chicago line) being a light service route the service wouldn't require a large special designated parking area for an occasional bus when a simple U-turn could serve the purpose.   I hope this helps some.
         
         
        From: umich918 <umich918@...>
        To: DSR-2-DOT@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, September 28, 2012 11:27 PM
        Subject: [DSR-2-DOT] W Chicago and St. Mary's (Stoepel Park 2) Markings
         
        Hello,

        I have a puzzle that possibly a reader might be able to help solve. Here it is: in the DetroitYes forums, under the thread "Stoepel Park No. 2" there is a 1949 Detroit Edison aerial photo shown of the east side of Stoepel Park (W. Chicago and St. Marys) which shows very strange markings. Subscribers suggest that they could be traces of WWII tank training areas, or piping being installed for future home development. However, in the website for Detroit Transit History, I saw the following about the West Chicago bus line:
        "Although the Broadstreet-West Chicago service only operated along West Chicago to Coolidge (Schaefer), rush-hour trips were made to St. Marys. Service along W. Chicago was later extended to Abington, then to Penrod, and by May 1940, service had been extended via Evergreen to Joy Road." I am wondering of there was once a bus terminal with possibly bus parking and refueling service there at W Chicago and St. Mary's. The markings would be then 9 years old, but they are very vivid. And, in the 1960 aerial photos of the same park, faint traces of the markings can still be seen, so...maybe it was once a bus terminal where Stoepel later was established?

         
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